Archive for November 1, 2018

Wednesday 31st October 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 1, 2018 by bishshat

Stu took the day off and after visiting UPS for a second time collected his mattress that to quote the man behind the desk had been in the wars.
We left the electric car at Warwick Gardens and headed to Music and Beans breakfast.
Then we trawled Green Lanes, Kentish Town, Dalston and  Shoreditch on a massive shopping for Halloween trip.
We had a lot of fun with many people interacting with our thought process.
It was a very successful day, with many a laugh. Beyond Retro in Dalston took a double hit with wigs and trousers and shirts plus a bowler hat.

Opened in 2011 in a massive former factory on Kingsland Road, Beyond Retro’s Dalston location brings historically significant fashion to a building steeped in local history. Once a Daks suiting factory in the late 1920s, it later served as a Cuban cigar factory in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day.


The vaulted ceilings and enormous open floor plan set the stage for our most theatrical space yet, complete with electric guitar-adorned fitting rooms and props that create a visual cabinet of curiosities, sourced during team travels around the globe. A fastidiously curated product offering and spacious floor plan contribute to a relaxed ambiance, evoking the feel of a vintage department store.




It was in 1894 that Simeon Simpson set up a business as a bespoke tailor in Middlesex Street in London when he was only 16 years old. Being at the centre of the garment trade, Middlesex Street was better known by its nickname “Petticoat Lane”. He was skilled at drawing straight lines and regular curves by hand, which coupled with his enthusiasm and creative sense enabled him to become an entrepreneur. He succeeded in the mass production of quality tailoring for the first time in the world and sought to produce ready-to-wear garments of high quality at the same standard as bespoke tailoring. He soon earned a reputation for “Simpson Suits” and Simeon was able to generate more and more sales outlets, throughout Britain and even abroad.


In 1934, Alexander Simpson, the second son of the founder Simeon Simpson, invented and introduced a completely new fashion: the self-supporting trouser. Alec, a keen sportsman, shared the irritation that golfers felt, when braces not only impeded their swing, but also caused their shirts to ride up. He solved the problem by introducing an adjustable waistband that eliminated the need for belts and braces, and small rubber pads sewn inside the waistband that held a shirt in place. Before this invention, belts or braces were essential for British gentlemen’s trousers. His invention was patented and marked a revolutionary change in the history of British men’s fashion. It came into use throughout the world, changing forever the conventional sports and formal trouser. At that time, a complete suit could be bought for 15 shillings. The new self-supporting trouser cost 30 shillings. However, Alec was confident that he knew his market. It is said that he commissioned 100,000 pairs ahead of the launch.


With the creation of the revolutionary new trouser line, Alexander Simpson and Dudley Beck, his trusted business partner and also a personal friend, began brainstorming over a suitable name. The name DAKS is generally accepted to have been a combination of the words DAD (after their much loved and respected founding father, the “Dad” of the firm, Simeon Simpson) and SLACKS (after the American word for informal trousers). It was also of all the names suggested the one the advertising agency liked best.


The success of the self-supporting trousers in the 1930s, allowed DAKS to replace existing styles and develop its business dramatically. DAKS made full use of the know-how of manufacturing menswear to start a womenswear business in 1937.
After food at half price in The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch.


West Ham 1 Spurs 3

Wary of playing 48 hours after facing Manchester City in the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes to the line-up. Davinson Sanchez was the sole survivor – excellent alongside Juan Foyth in central defence – as Serge Aurier, Kyle Walker-Peters, Victor Wanyama, Son and Llorente all returned.


The first and crucial opening goal came on 16 minutes when Dele stepped over Llorente’s pass and Son was there to hit a bullet with his left foot into the top corner.

West Ham then had a spell with Michail Antonio close twice – the second blocked well by Foyth – and Paulo Gazzaniga twice reacted well to Chicharito chances.

Gazzaniga was there again to deny Antonio from close range before the second goal on 54 minutes. Dele’s pass was misjudged by Arthur Masuaku and Son ran clear towards West Ham’s penalty box, veered wide around Adrian and slotted home.


The arrival of Arnautovic and Perez just after Son’s second upped the ante for the Hammers and Foyth did brilliantly to slide in and block as Arnautovic broke through.

However, Perez soon nodded home from Robert Snodgrass’ corner and you sensed the home fans’ belief that a comeback was on – not least after doing just that at 2-0 down at the same stage of the same competition last season.

It wasn’t to be this time as Llorente buried Eriksen’s corner for 3-1 on 75 minutes. That was that – Arsenal await in the quarter-finals.


The Scala

The Scala was originally built as a cinema to the designs of H Courtney Constantine, but construction was interrupted by the First World War and it spent some time being used to manufacture aircraft parts, and as a labour exchange for demobilised troops before opening in 1920 as the King’s Cross Cinema. The cinema changed hands and names several times through its life and also changed focus, ranging from mainstream to art-house to adult film over 70 years, as well as spending a short time as a primatarium.

In the summer of 1972, the Scala (then known as the King’s Cross Cinema) played host to the one and only UK concert by Iggy & The Stooges (who were in London recording the album Raw Power). All photographs later featured in the Raw Power album sleeve (including the famous cover shot) were taken that night during the show. The cover shot of Lou Reed Transformer LP was also taken this summer at the Scala by Mick Rock.

Intended to be an alternative National Film Theatre, the Scala Film Club (which took its name from Scala House on Tottenham Street) moved to this venue in 1981.


However, when the Scala showed the film A Clockwork Orange, then withdrawn from UK distribution, the copyright holder Warner Brothers sued at Kubrick’s insistence, and won.

As a result, Scala was almost bankrupt and closed in 1993; however, the club was re-opened in 1999. The cinema had been refitted, with the lower seating area incorporating the new stage, DJ booth and dancefloor, while the upper seating area incorporated a second room and a DJ booth.

Scala now plays host to many eclectic club nights

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Tuesday 30th October 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 1, 2018 by bishshat

The Cleaners

I’m in the apartment when three ladies enter
Cleaning day Kings Cross
Three Bulgarian ladies all in black
RELAX say the sparkling words on one shirt
I try my best to do so as one Henry’s around my feet
I’m perching on the uncomfortable sofa
I offer them tea but no!
1976 a shirt reads on the lady who Henry’s under my very uncomfortable situation
No need to move, all OK!
A quick change of the beds and towels
Empty the bins
I relax a little just as the tee shirt informs me to do
This is London apartment life 2018

John Bish 30th October 2018


Kings Cross

When I was a boy
Opportunities in life were so very tiny
Out on the edge of the second city
Urban touching rural
Small minded
Hugging the normal
Work ethic at volume eleven
A child of the fifties
Lino and paraffin
Ice building up on metal window frames
Dad works all hours night and day
Mom works
Latch key child fends for himself
The occasional bus to town
A treat at Lyons tea house
The one week holiday in Wales
Now as I roam the streets of London
I see the youth culture is real power
Calf skin cowboy boots
A young lady looking so cool sitting alone
Smoking a cigarette at a wind swept table
Fashion winning the eye
A man dressed like Oscar Wilde
Large black hat long scarlet coat so cool
Paranoid rolls out its familiar tones
Crashing through St Pancras
Thoughts of my youth again drag at my legs
Which are moving slowly and taking their time
No real place to go today
I watch as a child runs through the fountains at Granary Square
As they spout she calls out to mommy to watch her
Her sprinting dashes are not all successful
And she calls out a tiny scream as yes she gets a little wet
Then coffee at The Black Sheep opposite The Scala
The Five Guys Burger bar was dreadful
Not what I had expected at all

John Bish 30th October 2018


King’s Cross fountains at Granary Square. The 1,080 jets are individually controlled and lit, providing hours of entertainment and photo ops. The fountains are switched on/off by a seasonal clock so are on for longer during the summer months. The square is always buzzing with activity, including the stylish students from Central Saint Martins art school. Visitors can sit on one of the carved benches that surround the fountains to watch the aqua-choreography and soak up the atmosphere.

Designed by Kent-based company, The Fountain Workshop, the square transforms at dusk when the fountains are illuminated with multicoloured lights, creating a spectacular light show. If you’re an early bird, you might catch the fountains at their most dramatic, as occasionally they fill the square with clouds of rolling fog. Lit from below on a wintry morning it’s a sight to behold.

The fountains also hold a secret – they can be controlled, via your smartphone, to become a giant playable gameboard! The first game to be developed was 70s arcade classic, and Nokia phone favourite – Snake.

Up to eight people can play at a time, each controlling a line of coloured water jets. Just tilt your phone to move the jets, dodging the sides, the other snakes and taking care not to run into your own tail! To play, just download the ‘Granary Squirt’ app, in iTunes or Google Play. You need to be at Granary Square between 4pm and 5pm. Once you get there make sure you’re using the free King’s Cross wifi. The app will tell you your starting position, then just point your smartphone at the fountains and play!

Even a bit of cloud and a chill in the air usually isn’t enough to stop a kid’s urge to take their socks off and get wet.


A Night at the Villa Diodati and the Birth of Frankenstein

Horror, enchantment, music and poetry

During a ‘wet, ungenial summer’ of 1816 on Lake Geneva in 1816, Percy and Mary Shelley found themselves confined for days in Villa Diodati with Lord Byron, John Polidori and Claire Clairmont. Sitting by the fireplace, the group would amuse themselves with a book of German ‘ghost stories’ translated into French and entitled Fantasmagoriana. Byron then challenged the group to write their own stories. Although Mary Shelley initially struggled for inspiration her story would become the literary masterpiece Frankenstein, published 200 years ago this year.

A double bill event begins with an exploration of Fantasmagoriana and powerful influence it held over those readers. The second half is devoted to a performed reading of the long poem Villa Diodati by leading British poet Andrew Mitchell, to live music accompaniment and illustrations.


Horror, Enchantment, and the Genesis of Frankenstein

Through stories, research and illusion, Gothic expert Fabio Camilletti and illusionist and historian of magic Mariano Tomatis explore and recreate how the friends would have been affected these amazing German ghost stories and also by the spectacle of phantasmagoria, the now lost art of thrilling audiences with macabre illusions created through trickery and science. Prepare to be shocked and amazed.

In association with the University of Warwick


Villa Diodati

Villa Diodati is a new long-form poem by leading British poet Andrew Mitchell which explores the story of the strange summer of 1816 and events at the Villa which led to the writing of Frankenstein. His performed reading will be accompanied by illustrations by artist Mary Kuper and a live music score provided by an improvisation trio of cello, violin and flute.


Fabio Camilletti is Reader at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Warwick. He is an expert of Gothic and Romantic literature from a European and comparative viewpoint. In 2015 he published the first contemporary edition of Fantasmagoriana, the book that inspired Frankenstein, and is currently working on a project on early 19th-century anthologies of the supernatural, funded by the British Academy.

Mariano Tomatis, ‘Wonder Injector’, is a writer, illusionist, and historian of magic. His work embraces all the possible aspects of ‘wonder’, from stage magic to everyday life. He actively collaborates with writing collective Wu Ming and is the curator of the online People’s Magic Library. In 2017 he was an IAS fellow at the University of Warwick.

Andrew Mitchell is a narrative poet with experience of incorporating music, dance and song into poetry performance. His current project, A Paradise of Exiles, is a sequence of poems based round the lives and work of the younger English Romantic Poets. Villa Diodati is one of the poems from the sequence, with current writing on John Keats. He looks forward to working with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance from 2019, preparing for performances based round his Keats poem, to mark the bicentenary of Keats’s death in 2021. Andrew is an Honorary Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester.


Mary Kuper is an acclaimed artist, illustrator and teacher, whose detailed work is often inspired by nature. She has worked with The Observer, The Times, The Folio Society, Pan Books, Methuen, Victor Gollancz, Oxford University Press, Kelly Hoppen, The National Trust and many others.

Katie MacDonald (flute) and Beatriz Rola (violin) both studied classically at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at The Royal Academy of Music, and are currently on the Leadership course at the Guildhall School, which questions artistic identity and encourages inter disciplinary collaboration.



Barry Ryan

Every night I’m there
I’m always there
She knows I’m there and heaven knows
I hope she goes (Eloise)
I find it hard to realize
That love was in her eyes
It’s dying now
She knows I’m crying now
And every night I’m there
I break my heart to please
You know I’m on my knees yeah
I said please
You’re all I want so hear my prayer
My prayer
My Eloise is like the stars that please the night
The sun that makes the day
That lights the way (Eloise)
And when that star goes by
I’ll hold it in my hands and cry
Her love was mine
You know my sun will shine
Repeat chorus
You’re all I want you’ve got to hear my prayer
My prayer
My Eloise I’d love to please her
I’d like to care but she’s not there
And when I find you
I’d be so kind you’d want to stay
I know you’d stay
And as the days grow old
The nights grow cold
I want to hold her near to me
You know she’s dear to me
And only time will tell
And take away this lonely hell
I’m on my knees to my Eloise
Repeat chorus
You are my life so hear my prayer
You are the prize I know you’re there
I know you’re there
You’re all I want you gotta hear my prayer
Yeah yeah yeah
You’re all I need but you’re not there
Oh no you’re not there
No no no no
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
My Eloise
Oh I’d love to please her
Oh my Eloise
Oh my Eloise oh my Eloise
Don’t lie to me
I said no no no no
My Eloise

Monday 29th October 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 1, 2018 by bishshat


In the late 18th century Copenhagen Fields became a popular venue for radical demonstrations. In 1795 two such protests were attended by crowds of over 100,000, and one was followed by rioting in central London.

On 21 April 1834 thousands marched from Copenhagen Fields in support of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who had been sentenced to transportation to Australia for forming a trade union.


Opposite Kings Cross St Pancras Station Square. Gracing the top of an otherwise ordinary Victorian building is a charming lighthouse style turret, making it one of the more enigmatic local landmarks.

The building occupies an important road junction between Gray’s Inn Road, Pentonville Road, York Way and Euston Road, giving it a Flatiron type presence on the intersection. Despite the prominent location, many tend to miss the lighthouse because it gives nothing away about its own history. Even the blue plaque on the ground level must be hands down the most indecisive blue plaque in London, throwing up more questions than answers, reading, “Oysters were once sold here…or was that a fairground?” It shows that there are many stories about the lighthouse’s construction and use throughout its history, but that none can be verified and many are tall tales. Other guesses for its original use include a helter skelter, clock tower and even a camera obscura.


The most enduring and “official” view is that the lighthouse was built to promote Netten’s oyster bar, which occupied the ground floor. Oysters were a type of Victorian fast food, a sort of McDonalds of their day. Perhaps it was nothing more than an urban folly, serving no purposeful function other than ornamentation? Like all the other stories this one is no more reputable and is often thought to be unlikely. What is likely however is that no one will ever know its past function. Apart from why it was built, no one actually knows when it was built. A quick search on the Internet brings up references mostly to 1884, but 1875 is often mentioned as well.


Spurs o Man City 1

An early goal for the visitors proved to be the difference between the two sides as Manchester City edged an entertaining but frustrating contest by the narrowest of margins at Wembley on Monday evening.

It was Riyad Mahrez who proved to be the match-winner, converting Raheem Sterling’s pass in the fifth minute, but we battled all the way to the end and were by far the dominant side in the second period, our lack of genuine goal-scoring opportunities being our downfall.


City opened the scoring with the first attack of the game, but it was another avoidable goal from our perspective. It started with Ederson’s long clearance which Kieran Trippier tried to glance back to Hugo Lloris but Sterling sped onto the ball in the left channel. Trippier got back to cover but Sterling tricked his way past him down by the goal-line before cutting back for Mahrez to tuck home.

We responded well to the early setback though, Harry Kane firing just over from 30 yards, Toby Alderweireld glancing a header from a corner straight at Ederson, while a break down the right saw Moussa Sissoko have plenty of time to pick out a team-mate but his pass for Erik Lamela was intercepted.

The visitors always carried a threat when they came forward but for the most part we defended well and when they found a gap on 28 minutes, Lloris was there with a superb one-handed save to deny Mahrez at his near post, palming the shot onto the woodwork. At the other end, Kane looked to be in on goal from Lamela’s pass, but his first touch was slightly heavy allowing Ederson to rush from his line and slide in to get the ball first.

We ended the first half strongly and started the second period on the front foot as well, Sissoko driving us forward at every opportunity with Lucas Moura and Kane trying to force openings, although anything clear-cut was not forthcoming.

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In fact it was City with a glorious chance to double their lead on 54 minutes, Bernardo Silva sliding a ball across perfectly for David Silva eight yards who looked like he simply had to poke home. But the ball got caught up under his feet and although he managed to then find Sterling with a pass, his shot was blocked by Ben Davies inside the six-yard box.


Lloris saved twice from Sergio Aguero inside 60 seconds, but we were continuing to have the upper hand in terms of possession and impetus, Lamela cutting inside but firing well wide as we pushed for the equaliser. Fresh legs were introduced in the form of Harry Winks and Dele Alli – his first action since playing at Milton Keynes against Watford last month – for Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele and we should have levelled on 80 minutes. A combination of Lucas and Dele dispossessed Mahrez on the left flank, Dele burst forwards and laid the perfect pass in to Lamela, 15 yards in front of goal, but he side-footed over the bar.

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City tried to take the sting out of the game in the final stages as we pressed them back, former Spur Kyle Walker causing a moment of panic in the visitors’ defence when his back-header almost found its way into the net. But it wasn’t to be.

Sunday 28th October 2018

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on November 1, 2018 by bishshat


Coal drops. 1851-2. Probably by Lewis Cubitt. Late C19 southern section converted into a warehouse.

the coal drops were built as part of a system of distributing coal from the north-east and Yorkshire to the London market. Originally the structure carried 4 high-level railway tracks from which waggons discharged coal into storage bins on the mezzanine floor above cart-loading bays. A waggon traverser was provided at the southern end by which empty waggons were transferred to a wooden viaduct west of the coal drops. Approach by road is at a lower level.


These unusual buildings played an important role in Victorian times. They were built in the 1850s and 60s to transfer coal from rail wagons to road carts. The brick and cast iron structure originally carried four high-level railway tracks, from which wagons dropped coal into storage hoppers. From here the coal was loaded onto horse-drawn carts at ground level.

The coal drops were used to store goods for most of the 20th century. By the 1990s however, they were being used as workshops, studios and night clubs.


Lions 14 Seahawks 28

The Seattle Seahawks took care of business on Sunday, beating the Detroit Lions 28-14 at Ford Field to get above .500 for the first time all season, and also prevail in their third straight road game. Yes, the Seahawks provided some nervous moments after going up 28-14, but they did an excellent job of shutting off the comeback trails when it mattered most.

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We can now enter November with realistic dreams of making the playoffs. This team looks so different from the one that was so hard to watch over the majority of the first four games. Let’s round up the Winners and Losers from Seattle’s latest triumph, and their most important one yet for 2018.

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